BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — At this critical junction for European Union (EU) chemicals legislation, the independent scientific voice took center stage at the 5th Annual Forum on Endocrine Disruptors. Together with an impressive number of concerned stakeholders, they called for the immediate adoption and implementation of better EU legislation. While a restriction on per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) is ongoing, it risks being watered down by the massive volume of industry submissions to public consultation.
The Forum brought together policymakers, scientists, industry leaders, and civil society to discuss the most pressing topics in the area of endocrine disruptors, including the most recent scientific developments in the field. This year’s conference put the adverse health effects of PFAS and the links with endocrine disruption at the heart of the agenda and discussed ongoing national and regional initiatives in Europe aimed at reducing exposure to endocrine disruptors.
Tina Kold Jensen, PhD, MD, professor of Clinical Pharmacology, Pharmacy and Environmental Medicine (CPPEM), Environmental Medicine at the University of Southern Denmark, described PFAS’ impact on children’s development by showing data from a child cohort. “The data are clear—PFAS continues to hamper the health of our children including their neurological function, fertility, and overall development, stricter EU regulation is needed now to eradicate the presence of PFAS in our environment,” said Jensen.
PFAS differ from other endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) by their highly persistent and bioaccumulative nature, which leads to contemporary exposures having effects on human and animal health as well as our environment far into the future. Extensive peer-reviewed literature has described the many adverse health outcomes linked to exposure to PFAS, including altered reproductive function in men and women, abnormalities in reproductive organs, early puberty, immune system disruption, cancers, neuroendocrine tumors, respiratory problems, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular conditions, altered nervous system development and function, and learning disabilities.
“I wonder how long it will take for policymakers to catch up with the science and put in place an EU framework that will effectively protect us from PFAS and other EDCs,” said Aleksandra Buha Dordević, PhD, Department of Toxicology, University of Belgrade, Serbia.
- This press release is supported by the European Society of Endocrinology